Friday, October 14, 2011

adventures in chai

I have a strange relationship with tea. Namely, I'm an Asian girl who doesn't like tea. Sometimes, I'm curled up on the couch with a book when the weather is yucky, and I think. . . hey, some tea would be nice. And it never is. I do like sweet milk tea though. When in Nepal or India, I always was excited for tea when I visited someone. Since moving to Boulder, I have become a major fan of Bhakti Chai, which is a local type of chai that is sold in a lot of coffee shops around. It is wonderfully spicy and gingery. (Yes, I know the predominant flavor in chai is supposed to be cardamom, not ginger. But I don't like cardamom.) I've been a little worried about being disappointed with chai for the rest of my life. So I tried making it at home. I plan to use even more ginger next time.

Bhakti Chai Concentrate Imitation
  • 4 cups water
  • 5 black tea bags
  • 4 inches fresh ginger, sliced (~1/2 inch diameter)
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 piece star anise
  • 6 cardamom pods
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 cup crystallized ginger pieces, sliced.
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  1. Put tea bags, sliced ginger, cinnamon, anise, cardamom, and pepper in a medium saucepan. Add water and bring to a boil. Simmer for 5 miunutes.
  2. Meanwhile, oil your chefs knife and slice the crystallized ginger as thin as you can. Combine the crystallized ginger and sugar in a food processor and pulse until large pieces or ginger are broken up.
  3. Turn off the heat and add the ginger-sugar mixture. After 5 minutes of steeping, remove the tea bags, and let the spices steep for another 30 minutes. Strain and store in the fridge.
  4. Combine with equal parts milk and serve hot or cold.

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